Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Von Trapp’s: A Glorious, Bavarian Disneyland


    On opening day, Von Trapp’s was packed. Wait times stretched from two to three hours for a table. More than once, Seattle University students visiting the new Bavarian beer hall threw around the phrase “Chieftain Killer.”

    Nestled on 12th Ave., Von Trapp’s is certainly giving Seattle U’s unofficial bar a run for its money. The common sentiment among first timers on Sunday: Von Trapp’s is a rousing success.

    Part of what works is the restaurant’s Disneyland effect: at 10,000 square feet, it is easily the largest place to grab a drink in the neighborhood. Equipped with giant fireplaces, five full size bocce ball fields, and authentic wooden Bavarian architecture, the place is one roller coaster away from being The Matterhorn. Owners Deming Maclise and James Weimann make sure Von Trapp’s never gets too cheesy—the duo lend the place the same classy sensibilities that made their previous project Poquitos such a hot spot on the Hill.

    Because of the open air, communal design, drunken laughter and conversation echo through the space. It all feels very “Lord of the Rings”—like any minute a party of drunken dwarves and hobbits might break out into song. The giant pictures of the Alps and glistening German countryside helps too. The bar serves drinks sized anywhere from a tiny three ounce sampler to giant one liter glasses. The shambling crowds of people sloshing around liter-sized steins add to the whole LOTR-style medieval hullabaloo. On opening night, a man decked out in full lederhosen and a pointed hat roamed the hall.

    The Bavarian beer hall setup naturally instills a greater sense of energy than your typical bar. Von Trapp’s feels like a rollicking good time. It’s not dark and trendy like every other bar on the hill, it’s huge and whimsical. Servers wear t-shirts with lederhosen printed on them, and you are never more than 40 feet from someone playing a lawn game.

    Also—the sausages. So many sausages.

    Von Trapp’s does the German thing all the way, providing an extensive menu full of bratwurst, frankfurters and kielbasa, all heaping with sauerkraut. If you aren’t into cylindrical meats, the soft pretzels, schnitzel and potato pancakes might do the trick.

    The beer menu is full of consonant-laden German brews, as well as classics like Manny’s and Elysian. There’s plenty of variety for adventurous beer lovers looking to try a Dunkel Weisse or a Schwartzbier for the first time.

    Luckily nothing on the menu is outrageously expensive. Although Von Trapp’s cost a hefty $1.5 million to construct, you can get a 20 oz. glass of beer for $6 and a pretzel for $4. Full-on dinner is going to cost you $12, but for a place roughly four times the size of The Chieftain, prices are comparable.

    Because Von Trapp’s is so freaking huge, don’t be surprised if you find yourself hanging out longer than you intended. If you get bored with the first bar, well, there’s a second one in the back. If you get tired of that bar, you can play bocce ball. If you get tired of that, you can hang out by the fireplace. Von Trapp’s isn’t the kind of place you hit up on the way to your main destination—it is the destination.

    With the opening of Von Trapp’s, it’s safe to say that 12th Ave. has arrived. The stretch across from campus has threatened to be relevant for a while now, but now that Ba Bar has settled in as a top notch restaurant and Von Trapp’s has officially landed, Seattle U just got a lot more fun.

    For anyone who was disappointed by The Chieftain’s lackluster vibes and food menu, Von Trapps is your answer. It is safe to say that the Germans have bested the Irish on this one. If opening night is any indicator, we can expect Von Trapp’s to become one of the most popular locales in the neighborhood in months to come. Lucky for us students, we just have to stumble across the road to get there.

    We all officially go to school right next to a giant, wonderful Bavarian beer hall.

    Congratulations everybody.

     Kelton may be reached at [email protected]

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Kelton Sears, Author

    Comments (0)

    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *